Selecting a camera bag is a difficult and often personal choice. Once you’ve gotten the big picture “shoulder bag vs. backpack” issue sorted out, then you are faced with a slew of options ranging from size and shape options to things like strap padding, compartment configurations, whether it will hold your laptop and even interior color (for the record, we really like brighter colored interiors). The reality is even after you’ve gone through this entire exercise, chances are one bag won’t do it all and you’ll end up with different bags for different situations.
A few weeks ago when Bill Wadman was out from New York, we got together in Downtown LA for a photo walk. We commented on how cool his camera backpack was. He took us through a bunch of the features and we were really impressed. Turns out, it was a Crumpler, one of several Crumpler bags he owns. We talked about it a few times and after looking through their website decided to write to them to see if we might be able to review one of their bags for F&B. To our surprise, we got an email from them offering to send us one of their C-List Celebrity camera/laptop backpacks to check out and review. The C-List Celebrity is actually a bigger bag than what we requested, which was fantastic since we were just getting set for our trip to Yosemite. We were getting tight on space in the car and didn’t really have the room for both of our Kata backpacks.
We had originally requested to review a bag called the Karachi Outpost. The folks at Crumpler suggested that he C-List Celebrity may be a better fit for our review and they could not have been more right. They sent us the Small version of the C-List Celebrity, which has an interior volume of 20L, compared to the 14L of the Karachi. The C-List Celebrity is also available in Medium with 27L and a Large with a whopping 40L of storage volume! The small version turned out to be the perfect size for our trip.
The interior of the C-List Celebrity is completely modular (with 13 reconfigurable dividers) and allowed us to comfortably fit all of the gear we needed for the trip, which included three bodies, five lenses, a flash and a Macbook Pro, as well as various cards and accessories. One of the coolest things about the C-List Celebrity is the way they have designed the interior of the backpack. All of the gear is housed in a removable, self-contained padded bag, leaving the empty shell of the pack, which can then be used as a standard day pack for hiking, etc. Add to that, the six gusseted, zippered pockets (3 on each side) and you have an amazingly well thought-out piece of gear. If we had to pick out a negative about the layout of the bag (and we’re really reaching on this), it is the lack of a top-mounted pouch for quickly accessing things like a rocket blower, filters, etc. Again, this is just a personal observation, not really a negative.
Crumpler C-List Celebrity (S)
|Width:||32 cm / 12.6 inches|
|Height:||46 cm / 18.1 inches|
|Depth:||25 cm / 9.8 inches|
|Volume:||20 L / 1220 cubic inches|
|Empty Weight:||2.85 kg / 6.28 lbs|
DESIGN & BUILD
Given the clean silhouette of the C-List Celebrity, we were amazed at the amount that it can carry, and we had the small one! The gusseted pockets lie flat, even when filled, expanding inward rather than outward. Beyond the aesthetics is the build quality itself, which is superb. The materials used throughout feel top-notch, from the sturdy outer shell, to the weather-sealed zippers, to the Chartreuse green interior (which is great for finding dark-colored camera bits). One of the nicer design touches is the rear-facing zipper on the main compartment. The backpack must be removed to gain access to the gear, which is great peace of mind for urban or street photographers. This bag just feels bullet-proof. It’s also remarkably comfortable. We had it in Yosemite for four days, filled with gear, and honestly, especially considering it’s size, it is one of the most comfortable backpacks we’ve carried.
CONCLUSION & RATING
We got back from Yosemite almost two weeks ago and have actually gone on a couple more day hikes/shoots in our local mountains, just so we could have a bit more time with the C-List Celebrity before having to send it back to Crumpler. It’s a great size for the amount of gear we have and carries that gear in a way that is comfortable and well protected, not to mention really good looking. It’s definitely up there on our list. Then again, we’ve got a Think Tank review coming up soon. We’d like to thank Morgan at Crumpler for providing the C-List Celebrity for us to review and encourage you to check them out for yourselves.